Founded in 1992, LB Kayak Station is the first tour operator who offered guided eco tour in Japan. LB Kayak Station strives to be an environmentally friendly and locally sustainable business with positive involvement in local community activities.
Iriomote EcoTour Adventures was created to help people getting close to the natural world through wildlife observation and natural history interpretation. We believe that learning the intricate workings of an ecosystem leads to a deeper appreciation and connection with the environment. Better understanding helps the tour participants to make more environmentally sound choices in day to day life. We are anxious for opening our guests eyes to the wonders of nature in Iriomote as well as its ecosystem and fostering their connection with the natural environment.
For the first time I travelled to this island in mid 1980’s. I was totally amazed and throbbed by what I saw – the thrill and sensation at that time still lives clearly in my memory.
Mangrove-fringed rivers, coral reef lagoon with undersea life, interior subtropical jungle with thickly grown vegetation I’ve never seen – the island seemed to be a paradise for a city-born and city-bred youth.
It’s this island, nowhere else, that I should live my life. Then, I made up my mind to move.
Within several months after my first visit, I moved to Iriomote.
Without any prospect for earning my bread and butter, however, I had to struggle to get on for serial years. Hard and lonely days, regretting why I had moved to the place like this. Then, I met a dog and began to keep him I gave him a name “BARU,” meaning “Fields” in Okinawa’s local dialect. BARU lively scampered around fields every day and encouraged to survive.
As time went by, the island came to people’s attention for its rare natural environment. A number of TV crews frequently came to Iriomote for filming TV programs and commercials. I started a location service business for those TV crews under the name “Location BARU.” I happened to be a kayak addict and Kayaking was my favorite pastime around that time.
In April 1992, LB Kayak Station started guided eco tour service, with BARU and kayak as the birth parents. Yet, more than anything else, we owe what we are now to the mother nature of Iriomote island.
2017 is the 25th anniversary year of LB Kayak Station. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank our guests and the community members who supported our activities. We will continue to use our best efforts to help our guest experience the true beauty of natural world. It is our wish that every participant comes back home feeling healthy and refreshed both in mind and body.
Akira Nakagami, Founder